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Politics of North Macedonia

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Politics in North Macedonia occur within the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated North Macedonia a "flawed democracy" in 2022.[1]

Political system[edit]

North Macedonia's six electoral constituencies

The political system of North Macedonia consists of three branches: Legislative, Executive and Judicial. The Constitution is the highest law of the country.[2] The political institutions are constituted by the will of its citizens by secret ballot at direct and general elections. Its political system of parliamentary democracy was established with the Constitution of 1991, which stipulates the basic principles of democracy and guarantees democratic civil freedom. The Elections for Representatives in the Assembly of North Macedonia is held in October. The Assembly is composed of 123 Representatives, who are elected for a period of four years. Out of this number, 120 are elected proportionally in 6 constituencies of 20 each, and 3 according to the majority principle, specifically for the diaspora (depending on turnout) (the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia representing one constituency). There are approximately 1.5 million voters registered in the General Electoral Roll for the election of Representatives in the Assembly of North Macedonia in 2.973 polling stations. The voting for the representatives is conducted according to the list system.[3]


Executive branch[edit]

Main office-holders
Office Name Party Since
President VMRO-DPMNE 12 May 2024
Prime Minister VMRO-DPMNE 23 June 2024


Coat of arms of the president of North Macedonia
  • cannot hold any other public office or position in a political party
  • is elected for a 5-year term and can serve a maximum of two terms
  • is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and President of the Security Council
  • nominates a candidate from the majority party or parties in the Assembly who then proposes the Government who are elected by the Assembly
  • makes diplomatic appointments and some judicial and Security Council appointments
  • grants decorations, honours and pardons[4]


The power of the president is fairly limited with all other executive power being vested in what the Constitution describes as the government, i.e., the prime minister and ministers.


  • cannot be Representatives in the Assembly
  • cannot hold any other public office or follow a profession while in office
  • are elected by a majority vote in the Assembly
  • are granted legal immunity
  • cannot be called for service in the Armed Forces
  • propose laws, budget and regulations to be adopted by the Assembly
  • control diplomatic policy
  • make other state appointments[4]

Current cabinet[edit]

The current cabinet is a coalition of VMRO-DPMNE, the VLEN, and ZNAM.[5] The members of the Cabinet of North Macedonia are chosen by the Prime Minister and approved by the Assembly, however certain cabinet level positions are chosen by both President and Prime Minister, and approved by the Assembly.

Current government as of 23 June 2024

Member Portfolio Macedonio
Hristijan Mickoski Prime Minister
Izet Mexhiti Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Environment and Physical Planning, Minister without Portfolio
Ljupco Dimovski Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Framework Agreement Implementation, Political system, Minister without Portfolio
Ivan Stoilković Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Community Relations, Minister without Portfolio
Orhan Murtenzai Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Integration, Minister without Portfolio
Arben Fetaj Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Good Governance Policies, Minister without Portfolio
Aleksandar Nikolovski Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Transport and Communication
Timčo Mucunski Minister of Foreign Affairs
Vlado Misajlovski Minister of Defense
Panče Toshkovski Minister of Internal Affairs
Gordana Dimitrievska Kočovska Minister of Finance
Igor Filkov Minister of Justice
Cvetan Tripunovski Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply
Fatmir Levani Minister of Economy
Arben Taravari Minister of Health
Vesna Janevska Minister of Education and Science
Borko Ristovski Minister of Sport
Stefan Andonovski Minister of Digital Transformation
Goran Minčev Minister of Information Society and Administration
Zlatko Perinski Minister of Local Self-Government
Zoran Lyutkov Minister of Culture
Gjoko Velkovski Minister of Labor and Social Policy
Elvin Hasan Minister without Portfolio for Attracting foreign investment
Xhemail Çupi Minister without Portfolio
Zoran Sapurić Minister without Portfolio to improve investment climate for domestic enterprises
Anita Angelovska-Bežoska Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia
Ljupco Švrgovski Attorney General
Vasko Gjurčinovski Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia

Legislative branch[edit]

The Assembly (Sobranie) has 120 members, elected for a four-year term, by proportional representation. There are between 120 and 140 seats, currently there are 120; members are directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed list proportional representation vote. There is a possibility of three people being directly elected in diaspora constituencies by a simple majority vote provided there is sufficient voter turnout.

2020 election result[edit]

Politics of North Macedonia
North Macedonia
← 2016 15 July 2020 2024 →

All 120 seats in the Assembly
61 seats needed for a majority
Turnout52.02% (Decrease 14.77pp)
Party Leader % Seats +/–
We Can! Zoran Zaev 35.89 46 −8
Renewal for Macedonia Hristijan Mickoski 34.57 44 −7
BDI Ali Ahmeti 11.48 15 +5
AShAlternativa Ziadin Sela [mk] 8.95 12 +9
Levica Dimitar Apasiev 4.10 2 +2
PDSh Menduh Thaçi 1.53 1 −1
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Results by constituency
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Oliver Spasovski
Zoran Zaev

Early parliamentary elections were held in North Macedonia on 15 July 2020.[6] It was originally scheduled for November 2020, but Prime Minister Zoran Zaev called early elections after the European Council failed to come to an agreement on starting talks with North Macedonia on joining the European Union in October 2019. The election date was set for 12 April, but was postponed until July due to the COVID-19 pandemic in North Macedonia.[7]

2024 election result[edit]

The election resulted in a landslide victory for the national conservative VMRO-DPMNE and its Your Macedonia coalition, winning 58 seats in the Sobranie, just three shy of an outright majority. Their main rivals, the incumbent pro-European SDSM and its For a European Future coalition, ended up in distant third place, winning 18 seats, their worst ever result. All other parties and coalitions that won seats include: the European Front coalition with 18 seats and the VLEN Coalition with 14 seats (both representing national minorities), the left-wing nationalist The Left with six seats, as well as the left-wing populist For Our Macedonia Movement (ZNAM) with six seats.[8] Turnout was 55%. While initially allocated 19 and 13 seats respectively, following repollings in Ohrid, Struga and other areas on 22 May 2024 led to the European Front losing one seat in favor of the VLEN coalition allowing SDSM and its For a European Future coalition to become the second biggest group in the Assembly.[9]

Your Macedonia[a][b]436,40744.5858+14
For a European Future[c][d]154,44715.7818–28
European Front[e][f]137,69014.0618+3
VLEN Coalition[g][h]106,93710.9214+2
The Left68,6377.016+4
For Our Macedonia56,2325.746New
Brave for Macedonia[i]4,5220.460–1
New Alternative [mk]3,5150.3600
Your Party1,7940.1800
United Macedonia [mk]1,6880.170New
Homeland Macedonia [mk]1,0990.110New
Macedonian Era Third – Sovereignists9660.100New
Democrats Skopje [mk]9120.0900
The Right5350.050New
Labour Party [mk]4500.0500
European Civic Movement2410.020New
Valid votes978,98097.27
Invalid/blank votes27,4512.73
Total votes1,006,431100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,815,35055.44
Source: SEC

Judicial branch[edit]

Judiciary power is exercised by courts, with the court system being headed by the Judicial Supreme Court, Constitutional Court[10] and the Republican Judicial Council. The assembly appoints the judges, of which there are 22 in the Supreme Court, and 9 in the Constitutional Court. Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 7-member body of legal professionals, and appointed by the Assembly; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the Assembly for nonrenewable, 9-year terms

Administrative divisions[edit]

With the passage of a new law and elections held in 2005, local government functions are divided between 78 municipalities (општини, opštini; singular: општина, opština. The capital, Skopje, is governed as a group of ten municipalities collectively referred to as "the City of Skopje". Municipalities in North Macedonia are units of local self-government. Neighbouring municipalities may establish cooperative arrangements.

Ethnic diversity[edit]

The country's main political divergence is between the largely ethnically based political parties representing the country's Macedonian majority and Albanian minority. The issue of the power balance between the two communities led to a brief war in 2001, following which a power-sharing agreement was reached. In August 2004, the Republic's parliament passed legislation redrawing local boundaries and giving greater local autonomy to ethnic Albanians in areas where they predominate.

Foreign relations[edit]


Most notable relations with other countries include: Greece, China the US and Kosovo amongst others.


North Macedonia and Greece have excellent economic, trade and business relations, with Greece being the largest investor in the country[citation needed]. Until the Prespa Agreement (2018), the indeterminate status of North Macedonia's former name arose from a long-running dispute with Greece. The main points of the dispute were: The flag: the use of Vergina Sun, a Greek state symbol[citation needed], on the initial national flag used between 1992 and 1995 Constitutional issues: certain articles of the constitution that were seen as claims on Greek territory[citation needed]. The naming issue was "parked" in a compromise agreed at the United Nations in 1993. However, Greece refused to grant diplomatic recognition to the Republic and imposed an economic blockade that lasted until the flag and constitutional issues were resolved in 1995 with the Interim Accord. The naming dispute was resolved with the Prespa Agreement, which was signed in 2018 and entered into force in February 2019.

United States[edit]

The United States and North Macedonia enjoy excellent bilateral relations.[11] The United States formally recognised North Macedonia on 8 February 1994, and the two countries established full diplomatic relations on 13 September 1995. The U.S. Liaison Office was upgraded to an embassy in February 1996, and the first U.S. Ambassador to Skopje arrived in July 1996. The development of political relations between the United States and North Macedonia has ushered in a whole host of other contacts between the two states. In 2004, the United States recognised the country under its constitutional name of that time – Republic of Macedonia.


On 12 October 1993, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations with North Macedonia expressly declaring that the Government of the PRC is the sole legal government of China, and Taiwan as an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. The Government of North Macedonia affirmed it would not establish any form of official relations with Taiwan.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Consists of VMRO-DPMNE, Socialist Party of Macedonia (SPM), Democratic Party of Serbs in Macedonia (DPSM), Democratic Union (DS), MAAK – Conservative Party (MAAK), Movement for the National Unity of the Turkish (DNET), Serbian Progressive Party in Macedonia (SNSM), Bosniak People's Party (BNP), Democratic Forces of the Roma (DSR), Party of United Democrats of Macedonia (PODEM), Roma Alliance of Macedonia (ROM), Party of the Vlachs of Macedonia (PVM), VOICE for Macedonia (GLAS), New Liberal Party (NLP), Social Democratic Union (SDU), Democratic Party of the Roma (DPR), Workers’ Agricultural Party of Macedonia (RZPRM), United Party for Roma Equality (OPER), Dignity, Permanent Macedonian Radical Unification (TMRO), United for Macedonia and Macedonian Concept (MK).
  2. ^ 55 seats won by VMRO-DPMNE, 2 by SPM and 1 by DPSM.
  3. ^ Consists of Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), New Social Democratic Party (NSDP), VMRO – People's Party (VMRO–NP), Party for the Movement of Turks (PDT), Democratic Renewal of Macedonia (DOM), Party of United Pensioners and Citizens of Macedonia (POPGM), Serbian Party in Macedonia (SSM), Democratic Union of the Vlachs of Macedonia (DSVM), Union of Roma in Macedonia (SRM), Party of Democratic Action of Macedonia (SDAM), Right (Desnica), Party for the Democratic Prosperity of the Roma (PDPR) and Party for Social and Economic Progress (POEN).
  4. ^ 15 seats won by SDSM, 2 by NDSP and 1 by Liberal Democratic Party|LDP.
  5. ^ Consists of Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), Alliance for Albanians (ASH) (Sela's - led), Democratic Party of Albanians (PDSH), Democratic European Party (EDP), People's Movement (LP), Democratic Party of Turks (TDP), Movement of Turks for Justice and Democracy (THDH), Roma Union (UR) and Bosniak Democratic Union (BDS).
  6. ^ 10 seats won by BDI, 4 by ASH, 1 by PDSH, 1 by LP, 1 by TDP and 1 by THDH.
  7. ^ Consists of Democratic Movement (LD), Alternativa (AAA), Alliance for Albanians (ASH) (Taravari's - led) and Besa Movement (BESA).
  8. ^ 6 seats won by ASH, 3 by BESA, 3 by LD and 2 by AAA.
  9. ^ Consists of Citizen Option for Macedonia (GROM), Party for the Full Emancipation of the Roma of Macedonia (PCERM) and Integra - Macedonian Conservative Party (Integra)


  1. ^ "Democracy Index 2022: Frontline democracy and the battle for Ukraine" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. 2023. Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  2. ^ "Republic of Macedonia Constitution".
  3. ^ Macedonian Political System Archived 23 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Close Allies, Fewer Albanians and a Moscow Fan – North Macedonia's Govt Takes Shape". Balkan Insight. 20 June 2024.
  6. ^ North Macedonia Leaders Agree Election Date Balkan Insight, 15 June 2020
  7. ^ Government of North Macedonia officially postpones the elections European Western Balkans, 23 March 2020
  8. ^ "Претседателски и парламентарни избори 2024 – 08.05.2024". Државна Изборна Комисија (in Macedonian). 8 May 2024. Archived from the original on 23 May 2024. Retrieved 23 May 2024.
  9. ^ "Parliamentary elections revoting - 22.05.2024". Државна Изборна Комисија (in Macedonian). 22 May 2024.
  10. ^ See Shasivari, Jeton. Restricted Judicial Activism of the Constitutional Court of Republic of Macedonia Regarding Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms. Acta Universitatis Danubius. Juridica; Galati Vol. 15, Fasc. 1, (2019).
  11. ^ Makfax Agency United States of America congratulate President Ivanov on his inauguration and are looking forward to continuing of the excellent relations with Macedonia
  12. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China". Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mattioli, Fabio (2020). Dark Finance: Illiquidity and Authoritarianism at the Margins of Europe. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-1-5036-1294-5.